Eleanor, Cameron Barney (8 year break)
I joined Cameron Barney LLP in January 2016 after an 8 year career break.
I had spent my entire career in investment banking prior to leaving my employer in 2008, during the global financial crisis. This timing coincided with a significant increase in my husband’s workload and need for frequent international travel so we decided I would take a career break to look after our two sons who were 9 months and 3 years old at the time.
I really enjoyed my career break but as the boys settled into school, thoughts turned to seeking out a return to work. In late 2014 I attended a Return-To-Work Workshop Series run by Women Returners and also the Women Returners annual conference in 2015. I found both of these very helpful – the events provided lots of practical advice as well as inspiring stories from people who had successfully transitioned back after an extended absence.
I kept an eye on the Opportunities page on the Women Returners website and in late 2015 I saw an advertisement for Cameron Barney, a boutique investment bank in London. They were looking for someone with my skills and previous experience. But most importantly, they were offering a part-time flexible role. This is not something that is easy to find in the world of banking, especially in 2016 when flexible working was not so embedded as it is now. I also liked the concept of a ‘returnship’ because I felt that it gave me a chance to return for a set period but that there was an ‘out’ for me, at the end of the programme, if I found that going back to work was not for me at that point.
I was very lucky to be offered the role and when I started I was grateful to have the additional support of Women Returners coaching sessions to help with the transition. I have now been 6 years with Cameron Barney. I work 4 days a week and have the flexibility to manage the school run. I do a mixture of working from home and going into the office, so that I can attend client meetings and spend time with the wider team. Because of the nature of the work there are times when work gets quite intense and you are juggling things but it has always been manageable.
I was quite nervous about returning to work after such a long absence and with family commitments. But Cameron Barney has been a friendly, welcoming, flexible and supportive place to work and I am very glad I took the plunge and returned!
Cameron Barney is running their second Returner Programme. See here for more details.